Showing posts with label california. Show all posts
Showing posts with label california. Show all posts

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  • Thursday, November 7, 2019

November 9, 2019 LCBO VINTAGES Release Wine Picks: California



LCBO Wine Picks: November 9, 2019 VINTAGES Release
The November 9, 2019 LCBO VINTAGES Release features wines from California in this mono-thematic, third to last Release of 2019. On the whole, there are many lovely wines to add to your collection or for gift-giving throughout this Release.

We begin with the main theme that focuses on top California wines, which lists fifteen as part of this theme. While many California wines as part of this theme are high quality wines, I've limited my recommendations to four from this feature. First up is the lone red which is a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stags Leap District in Napa Valley. My top white wines from California includes a barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc (with a splash of Semillon) that is called Fumé Blanc from iconic Robert Mondavi. There's also a lovely Napa Valley Chardonnay and a Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain.

Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (93 pts)Kistler Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay 2017 (93 pts)

Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2017 (92 pts)Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Fumé Blanc 2015 (93 pts)

My red wine picks are littered with blends from Italy and France. From Italy, the Amarone is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara, while the Chianti Classico is a blend of 90% Sangiovese, 5% Malvasia Nera, and 5% Canaiolo. Both Super Tuscans - the Luce and Crognolo - are big wines made with Sangiovese and Merlot. From Rhône, France, the outstanding Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and 5% Cinsault, while the Côtes du Rhône-Villages is a blend of 65% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre. Lastly, the Rioja from Spain is a blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Grenache, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo.

Masi Mazzano Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012 (93 pts)San Fabiano Calcinaia Chianti Classico 2016 (90 pts)

Luce 2016 (93 pts)Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo 2016 (92 pts)

Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2017 (93 pts)Gabriel Meffre Laurus Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2016 (89 pts)

R. Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia Reserva 2006 (93 pts)

My white wine recommendations from the rest of the Release are all single varietal wines. Some of the bigger highlights includes various oaked Chardonnays from New Zealand, Sonoma County, and South Africa, as well as a Pinot Grigio that is consistently delicious year after year. For sweet wine lovers, look to either the very sweet Spätlese Riesling from Mosel, or the off-dry Gewurztraminer from Alsace.

Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2016 (92 pts)Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay 2017 (90 pts)

Christina The Heritage Collection Chardonnay 2017 (90 pts)Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio 2018 (89 pts)

Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier Dom Spätlese Riesling 2011 (90 pts)Cave Hunawihr Kuhlmann-Platz Gewurztraminer 2018 (88+ pts)

Among my sparkling wine picks, all are crafted in the traditional method, with the Italian bubbly made of 100% Chardonnay, while the Niagara bubbly is 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and lastly, the Rosé Champagne is a blend of 67% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay. All are dry and aged for a number of years prior to release.

13th Street Premier Cuvée Sparkling 2013 (91+ pts)Ferrari Brut Sparkling (89 pts)

Enjoy my wine picks from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • GÉRARD BERTRAND FITOU GRENACHE/CARIGNAN 2017 - AP, Midi, France (#403683) (D) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • SIDEWOOD SHIRAZ 2016 - Adelaide Hills, South Australia (#446146) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • SUSANA BALBO SIGNATURE MALBEC 2017 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#079798) (XD) - $19.95
  • GABRIEL MEFFRE LAURUS CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES 2016 - AP, France (#381053) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • ERRAZURIZ ACONCAGUA ALTO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017 - DO Aconcagua Valley, Chile (#203364) (XD) - $21.95  90 pts  wine review
  • SAN FABIANO CALCINAIA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#023408) (XD) - $21.95  90 pts  wine review
Errazuriz Aconcagua Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (90 pts)Sidewood Shiraz 2016 (89 pts)

Gérard Bertrand Fitou Grenache/Carignan 2017 (88 pts)

  • RODNEY STRONG ALEXANDER VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA (#350454) (XD) - $32.95  90 pts  wine review
  • SOLÉNA GRAND CUVÉE PINOT NOIR 2017 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#486944) (XD) - $33.95  90 pts  wine review
  • TENUTA SETTE PONTI CROGNOLO 2016 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#727636) (D) - $34.95  92 pts  wine review
  • R. LOPEZ DE HEREDIA VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA 2006 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#356337) (XD) - $58.95  93 pts  wine review
  • RENATO RATTI MARCENASCO BAROLO 2015 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#713479) (XD) - $59.95  92 pts  wine review
Renato Ratti Marcenasco Barolo 2015 (92 pts)Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (90 pts)

Soléna Grand Cuvée Pinot Noir 2017 (90 pts)

  • VERSADO RESERVA ANCIENT MALBEC 2013 - Mendoza, Argentina (#316984) (XD) - $59.95  93 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2017 - AC, Rhône, France (#711317) (XD) - $93.95  93 pts  wine review
  • LUCE 2016 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#685263) (XD) - $119.95  93 pts  wine review
  • CLIFF LEDE STAGS LEAP DISTRICT CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016 - Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, USA (#014217) (XD) - $119.95  93 pts  wine review
  • MASI MAZZANO AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2012 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#597476) (XD) - $129.95  93 pts  wine review
Versado Reserva Ancient Malbec 2013 (93 pts)

White Wine:

  • KAIKEN TERROIR SERIES TORRONTÉS 2018 - Cafayate Valley, Salta, Argentina (#330407) (XD) - $17.95  88 pts  wine review
  • PENCARROW SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Martinborough, North Island, New Zealand (#148429) (XD) - $18.95  88 pts  wine review
  • CAVE HUNAWIHR KUHLMANN-PLATZ GEWURZTRAMINER 2018 - AP Alsace, France (#012010) (D) - $18.95  88+ pts  wine review
  • CHRISTINA THE HERITAGE COLLECTION CHARDONNAY 2017 - WO Robertson, South Africa (#010104) (XD) - $18.95  90 pts  wine review
  • TIEFENBRUNNER PINOT GRIGIO 2018 - IGT Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Alto Adige-Trentino, Italy (#474742) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  wine review
  • BISCHÖFLICHE WEINGÜTER TRIER DOM SPÄTLESE RIESLING 2011 - Prädikatswein, Mosel, Germany (#011651) (S) - $21.95  90 pts  wine review
  • RODNEY STRONG CHALK HILL CHARDONNAY 2017 - Sonoma County, California, USA (#275552) (XD) - $26.95  90 pts  wine review
  • CLOUDY BAY CHARDONNAY 2016 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#359513) (XD) - $38.95  92 pts  wine review
  • ROBERT MONDAVI TO KALON VINEYARD RESERVE FUMÉ BLANC 2015 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#326165) (XD) - $59.95  93 pts  wine review
  • BERINGER PRIVATE RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2017 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#026682) (D) - $64.95  92 pts  wine review
  • KISTLER SONOMA MOUNTAIN CHARDONNAY 2017 - Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County, California, USA (#183921) (XD) - $114.95  93 pts  wine review
Kaiken Terroir Series Torrontés 2018 (88 pts)Pencarrow Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (88 pts)

Sparkling Wine:

  • FERRARI BRUT SPARKLING - Traditional method, DOC Trento, Italy (#352153) (XD) - $24.95  89 pts  wine review
  • 13TH STREET PREMIER CUVÉE SPARKLING 2013 - Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#142679) (XD) - $39.95  91+ pts  wine review
  • LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE 2013 - AC, Champagne, France (#368415) (XD) - $104.95  FE

Dessert Wine:

  • CAVE SPRING INDIAN SUMMER LATE HARVEST RIESLING 2017 - Estate grown, VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#415901) (S) (375 mL) - $24.95
  • CARMES DE RIEUSSEC 2015 - 1er cru, AC Sauternes, Bordeaux, France (#472092) (S) (375 mL) - $25.95  91 pts  wine review
Carmes de Rieussec 2015 (91 pts)


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  • Saturday, October 26, 2019

Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise 2017 (California) - Wine Review

Want something for your Halloween party? You might want to look at tonight's red wine review that is sure to please your guests with it's Halloween-themed label. It just arrived at the LCBO and is widely available across Ontario, just in time for Halloween festivities.

It is produced by Chronic Cellars, a California winery that came together in 2004 when brothers Josh and Jake Beckett combined their winemaking skills with their wit and humour to turn an idea into reality using two tons of the best – or 'chronic' – grapes to make killer wine.

The Beckett brothers grew up in a wine family in Paso Robles and helped by washing barrels, punching down fermenting grapes, and working the bottling line. It was only natural that one day they would make their own wine.

Chronic Cellars' philosophy is to use the best, or 'chronic', grapes to make seriously good wine for people who don’t take themselves too seriously. They have partnered with neighbours and friends in Paso Robles to build an network of growers, allowing Josh to select the grapes he wants for all of his custom, intriguing blends, including this Purple Paradise. The labels are created by Joe Kalionzes, a childhood friend and artist whose style and graphic linocuts perfectly capture their double-take vision for the brand.

While the label of this wine and it's well-timed arrival in Ontario evokes images of Halloween, the vision for Purple Paradise actually appeared when they were in their own paradise - Mexico. Purple represents the juice, while Paradise represents how you feel when drinking it. Sit back, relax, and float away to your own paradise.

Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise 2017 (85 pts)

Tasting Note:

CHRONIC CELLARS PURPLE PARADISE 2017 - Paso Robles, California, USA (#012011) (D) - $21.95
This blend of 78% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 7% Syrah, and 6% Grenache has a fresh, aromatic nose of cherries, spice, strawberry, and a touch brambly, surrounded by vanilla and cocoa notes. The full-bodied palate is confected with sweet spice and vanilla, followed by blueberry, cherry, and strawberry flavours. Acids are fresh and balanced, while tannins are supple with a touch of textural grip. Good length on the finish with sweet vanillin oak and some earthy characters. Crafted for mass appeal. Score: 85 pts


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  • Thursday, April 18, 2019

Copain Wines Tasting (California) 2019

Copain Wines (2019)
I had the pleasure of tasting some of the latest fine wines from California's Copain Wines.

Founded in 1999, Copain, meaning ‘friend’ or ‘buddy’ in French, embodies their philosophy that wine enhances life’s most joyous occasions, and is an experience best shared with friends and family. The winery is perched on a hillside overlooking the Russian River Valley and specializes in making single-vineyard wines from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Grapes are sourced from cool-climate vineyards in Mendocino County, the Anderson Valley and the Sonoma Coast.

The Copain portfolio consists of three distinct collections - Tous Ensemble, Les Voisins, and the single-vineyard wines. The "Tous Ensemble" collection, which translates to "All Together", are crafted in an approachable, ready-to-drink style from a blend of fruit sourced from select vineyards within the AVA, and suitable for gatherings with friends and family. The "Les Voisins" wines are nuanced, terroir-driven wines, while the single-vineyard wines are crafted to be savoured many years after release.

In 2016, Copain Wines joined the Jackson Family Wines portfolio, a family-owned and -operated company that crafts award-winning wines of distinct character and quality, with a focus on sustainable viticulture practices, responsible vineyard and natural resource management. The family's collection includes more than 40 renowned brands from across the globe.

My favourites from this tasting were the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines that were classy, elegant, and fresh. The rosé was also nicely dry.

To purchase any of these fine Copain Wines, please contact the agent Halpern Enterprises.

Wine Scores:

COPAIN "TOUS ENSEMBLE" CHARDONNAY 2016 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (XD) - $36.75  90 pts

Copain "Tous Ensemble" Chardonnay 2016 (90 pts)Copain "Tous Ensemble" Rosé 2017 (88+ pts)

COPAIN "TOUS ENSEMBLE" ROSÉ 2017 - Mendocino County, California, USA (XD) - $29.86  88+ pts

COPAIN "TOUS ENSEMBLE" PINOT NOIR 2016 - Sonoma Coast, California, USA (XD) - $39.71  90 pts

Copain "Tous Ensemble" Pinot Noir 2016 (90 pts)Copain "Tous Ensemble" Syrah 2016 (89 pts)

COPAIN "TOUS ENSEMBLE" SYRAH 2016 - Mendocino County, California, USA (XD) - $41.25  89 pts

COPAIN "LES VOISIN" PINOT NOIR 2015 - Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California, USA (XD) - $54.48  91+ pts

Copain "Les Voisin" Pinot Noir 2015 (91+ pts)Copain "Les Voisin" Syrah 2015 (90 pts)

COPAIN "LES VOISIN" SYRAH 2015 - Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County, California, USA (XD) - $54.48  90 pts

COPAIN DUPRATT CHARDONNAY 2016 - Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California, USA (#010873) (XD) - $63.37  91 pts

Copain DuPratt Chardonnay 2016 (91 pts)Copain Hawks Butte Syrah 2013 (91 pts)

COPAIN HAWKS BUTTE SYRAH 2013 - Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County, California, USA (XD) - $64.33  91 pts


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  • Monday, November 5, 2018

Wine Picks LCBO VINTAGES Release Nov. 10, 2018: California + Rioja

LCBO Wine Picks: November 10, 2018 VINTAGES Release
The parade of premium wines continues with the LCBO VINTAGES Release that features coveted and iconic California wines as its main theme, while the mini-theme features classic gems from Rioja. All of these wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario this .

We'll begin with main theme that features fifteen of some of California's most coveted and iconic wines, four of which are included among my top wine picks. From the whites, both are high-end Chardonnay. One is from Beringer, California's oldest continually operating winery (founded in 1876), while the other from a specialist in Sonoma Chardonnay - Kistler Vineyards. Among the reds, there is a lovely Pinot Noir from Flowers Vineyards & Winery, as well as a Napa Cab from Joseph Phelps that is actually a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot.

Kistler Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay 2016 (93 pts)Flowers Pinot Noir 2016 (92 pts)

The mini-theme features only seven wines from Rioja (Spain), but four are include among my top wine recommendations. First up is the lone white that is made with the Viura (aka Macabeo) grape and can be aged for at least another 5 years. The red wines include some stellar mature wines from 1996, 2005, and 2009. The '96 is a blend of 90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo, while the '05 is a blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo. Lastly, the '09 is 100% Tempranillo.

Wine blends among my top red wine picks include the Saint-Roch that is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Carignan, while the Madiran is a blend of 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Franc from 40-50 year old vines. From Rhône, the '15 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, while the '16 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a made with 30% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 10% Counoise, and 5% Cinsault. From Tuscany, the Luce is a 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Merlot, while the baby Ornellaia is a blend of 44% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petit Verdot, and 12% Cabernet Franc.

Luce 2015 (91 pts)Cave Spring Indian Summer Riesling 2016 (90 pts)

Among my white wine picks, the Marsannay is made with Chardonnay, while the Muscadet is made with Melon de Bourgogne from old vines that average 80-years-old. If you like your wines with some sweetness, the Niagara Riesling is your best bet. Moving on to dessert wines, the Cave Spring Riesling is a Late Harvest and along with the Tokaj are the least sweetest of the bunch. Both the Vidal Icewine and the Botrytis Semillon are lusciously sweet dessert wines.

Enjoy my top wine recommendations from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • CHÂTEAU SAINT-ROCH CHIMÈRES 2016 - AP Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, France (#119354) (D) - $17.00
  • LA TREMENDA MONASTRELL 2016 - DO Alicante, Spain (#490011) (XD) - $17.95
  • SALENTEIN RESERVE PINOT NOIR 2016 - Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#578179) (XD) - $18.95
  • GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LES ASPRES SYRAH / MOURVÈDRE / GRENACHE 2015 - AP Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres, France (#413245) (XD) - $18.95
  • CHÂTEAU PEYROS VIEILLES VIGNES MADIRAN 2013 - AC, Southwest, France (#234997) (XD) - $19.95

  • FEUDO MONTONI LAGNUSA NERO D’AVOLA 2015 - DOC Sicilia, Italy (#523738) (XD) - $23.95
  • MONTECILLO GRAN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#239277) (XD) - $29.95
  • DOMAINE DE LA SOLITUDE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#560987) (XD) - $41.95
  • VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#356337) (XD) - $49.95
  • URBINA GRAN RESERVA 1996 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#355743) (XD) - $54.95

  • LE SERRE NUOVE DELL’ORNELLAIA 2016 - DOC Bolgheri Rosso, Tuscany, Italy (#606194) (XD) - $64.95
  • FLOWERS PINOT NOIR 2016 - Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, USA (#215202) (XD) - $64.95  92 pts  wine review
  • CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2016 - AC, Rhône, France (#711317) (XD) - $93.95
  • LUCE 2015 - IGT Toscana, Italy (#685263) (XD) - $114.95  91 pts  wine review
  • JOSEPH PHELPS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#189795) (XD) - $118.95

White Wine:

  • ILOK CELLARS CLASSIC GRASEVINA 2017 - Croatia (#517474) (XD) - $14.95
  • VETIVER VIURA 2014 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#437707) (XD) - $16.95
  • GADAIS VIEILLES VIGNES MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE 2015 - Sur lie, AC, Loire, France (#444406) (XD) - $17.95
  • KEN FORRESTER OLD VINE RESERVE CHENIN BLANC 2017 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#231282) (XD) - $17.95
  • PADDY BORTHWICK PINOT GRIS 2016 - Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand (#555516) (XD) - $19.95
  • TAWSE LIMESTONE RIDGE-NORTH ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING 2016 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#431593) (M) - $23.95
  • LOUIS LATOUR MARSANNAY BLANC 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#435156) (XD) - $32.95
  • BERINGER PRIVATE RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2016 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#026682) (D) - $64.95
  • KISTLER SONOMA MOUNTAIN CHARDONNAY 2016 - Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County, California, USA (#183921) (XD) - $107.95  93 pts  wine review

Rosé Wine:

  • MIMI EN PROVENCE GRANDE RÉSERVE ROSÉ 2017 - AP Côtes de Provence, France (#452573) (XD) - $18.95

Fortified:

  • QUINTA VALE D. MARIA VINTAGE PORT 2015 - DOP, Portugal (#582965) (S) (375 mL) - $49.95

Dessert Wine:

  • BIRO SO SWEET TOKAJ 2016 - Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary (#617324) (S) (375 mL) - $17.95
  • CAVE SPRING INDIAN SUMMER RIESLING 2016 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#415901) (S) (375 mL) - $24.95  90 pts  wine review
  • DE BORTOLI NOBLE ONE BOTRYTIS SEMILLON 2016 - New South Wales, Australia (#917252) (S) (375 mL) - $29.95
  • SOUTHBROOK ORGANIC VIDAL ICEWINE 2014 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#581165) (S) (375 mL) - $49.95


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  • Wednesday, July 18, 2018

J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay 2015 (California) - Wine Review

wine is a frequent visitor to the LCBO, and mostly recently arrived in LCBO VINTAGES on . You can still find this yummy white wine in the VINTAGES section at your local LCBO.

Produced by a well-known Californian winery, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines was formed in the early 1970's when founder Jerry Lohr chose Monterey County's Arroyo Seco district for its cool, windy climate and rocky soils, which are ideal for Chardonnay. The establishment and growth of J. Lohr Vineyards & Winery resulted in the emergence of Central Coast as a world-class winegrowing region, with Jerry Lohr recognized as one of the region's pioneers.

The vineyards for this white wine are located in J. Lohr's Block 9 plantings in the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County, near the mouth of the Arroyo Seco River in a slightly more wind-protected environment. The loamy soils are laden with "Greenfield potatoes" - stones that resemble potatoes in size and appearance.

J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay 2015 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

J. LOHR OCTOBER NIGHT CHARDONNAY 2015 - Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, California, USA (#225375) (XD) - $34.95
Aged in French barrels (50% new) sur lie for 10 months. Baked apple with hints of vanilla and smoke aromas from the cork. Pours a fairly deep yellow gold colour. The ripe medium+ intensity nose has aromas of baked apple, sweet vanilla oak, and tropical fruit notes with hints of yellow floral and marzipan. It's medium-full bodied on the sweet-edged palate with more baked apple and vanilla flavours, with bracing acids and some warmth on the mid-palate. Some toffee aromas and butterscotch flavours appear with time. Touch oxidative and bitter on the long finish. Best with a light chill. Score: 88 pts


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  • Monday, November 20, 2017

VINTAGES Release Nov. 25, 2017: California Wines for Holiday Wish Lists

LCBO Wine Picks from November 25, 2017 VINTAGES Release
The next release into LCBO VINTAGES on is a mono-thematic release featuring top California wines for holiday wish lists. All of these wines will be on LCBO VINTAGES shelves across Ontario this coming . This is the second to last release of 2017, and it's a thick one, so you'll want to begin stocking up for the holidays from this release and the past few releases in October and November.

We'll begin with the main theme that features top wines from California. Most of the seventeen wines listed in this thematic will provide enjoyment, but I have limited my selection to four top wines. This includes the mountain vineyard blend from The Hess Collection which contains 61% Malbec, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Petit Verdot/Syrah, while the flagship wine from Stags' Leap is made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. In white wines from California, the Grgich Chardonnay is always delicious every year, while the Kistler Chardonnay comes from their mountain vineyards that range in elevation from 800 to 1700 feet above sea level.

Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2013 (92 pts)

From my red wine picks from the rest of this release, the Crianza is made with 100% Tempranillo, while the Faithful Hound from South Africa is faithfully made with 32% Cabernet Franc, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 16% Malbec, and 7% Petit Verdot. The Chianti Classico is also a blend and consists of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino, and 10% Pugnitello. From France there are a pair of GSM-blends - the La Ferme du Mont wine is composed of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, while the Tessellae Old Vines is made with 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. Also from France, the Crozes-Hermitage is 100% Syrah, while the "Vin de France" Xavier wine from Rhône consists of almost 100% Mourvèdre. On the local front, the Stratus Red is predominantly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with Syrah, Sangiovese, Malbec, and Tannat added to complete the final blend.

San Felice Chianti Classico 2015 (88+ pts)La Ferme Du Mont Première Côte Côtes du Rhône 2015 (88+ pts)

Among my white wine picks, the Antinori white from Umbria and the Montagny from Burgundy are both made with Chardonnay. For sweet wine lovers, you should pick up any of the Rieslings from either Ontario or Germany.

Henri de Villamont Montagny 1er Cru 2014 (91 pts)Fritz Willi Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium Riesling Feinherb 2015 (89 pts)

The sparkling wines found among my wine recommendations are all on the dry side. The Desiderius Pongrácz Sparkling Wine and the Drappier Champagne are both blends of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, while the Moët & Chandon Rosé Champagne is a blend of 46% Pinot Noir (of which 20% is red wine), 32% Chardonnay, and 22% Pinot Meunier. Meanwhile, the Cuvée Catharine Blanc de Blanc is made with 100% Chardonnay.

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Carte Blanche Estate Blanc de Blanc 2012 (91 pts)

Enjoy my top wine picks from this Release! Cheers!

Red Wine:

  • VIÑA OLABARRI CRIANZA 2013 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#461277) (XD) - $14.95
  • LA FERME DU MONT PREMIÈRE CÔTE CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2015 - Unfiltered, AP, France (#251645) (XD) - $17.95  88+ pts  reviewed here
  • TESSELLAE OLD VINES GRENACHE/SYRAH/MOURVÈDRE CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON 2015 - AC, Midi, France (#343517) (XD) - $18.95
  • SAN FELICE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2015 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#282996) (XD) - $19.95  88+ pts  reviewed here
  • ZUCCARDI Q CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Gualtallary & La Consulta, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina (#140855) (XD) - $19.95
  • MULDERBOSCH FAITHFUL HOUND 2014 - WO Western Cape, South Africa (#922443) (XD) - $20.95
  • CAVE DE TAIN GRAND CLASSIQUE CROZES-HERMITAGE 2015 - AC, Rhône, France (#572230) (D) - $23.95

  • XAVIER ARCANE XV LE DIABLE 2015 - Vin de France, Rhône, France (#526301) (XD) - $29.95
  • STRATUS RED 2013 - VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada (#131037) (XD) - $48.20
  • DOMAINE DROUHIN OREGON PINOT NOIR 2014 - Dundee Hills, Oregon, USA (#961284) (XD) - $49.95  91 pts  reviewed here
  • THE HESS COLLECTION 19 BLOCK MOUNTAIN CUVÉE 2013 - Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, USA (#018879) (D) - $54.95
  • CA’ ROMÉ ROMANO MARENGO CERRETTA BAROLO 2011 - DOCG, Piedmont, Italy (#000455) (XD) - $71.95
  • FUMANELLI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO 2011 - DOCG, Veneto, Italy (#475053) (XD) - $72.95  92 pts  reviewed here
  • STAGS’ LEAP ESTATE THE LEAP CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 - Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, USA (#142844) (XD) - $99.95
Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir 2014 (91 pts)

White Wine:

  • FAZIO AEGADES GRILLO 2015 - DOC Erice, Sicily, Italy (#388637) (XD) - $17.95
  • TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA RIESLING 2015 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#089029) (M) - $18.95
  • LAURENZ V. FRIENDLY GRÜNER VELTLINER 2015 - DAC Kamptal, Austria (#066225) (XD) - $19.95
  • CONCHA Y TORO MARQUÉS DE CASA CONCHA CHARDONNAY 2015 - Limarí Valley, Chile (#342857) (XD) - $19.95  89 pts  reviewed here
  • FRITZ WILLI FRIEDRICH-WILHELM-GYMNASIUM RIESLING FEINHERB 2015 - Qualitätswein, Mosel, Germany (#523894) (M) - $20.95  89 pts  reviewed here
  • STONELEIGH LATITUDE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017 - Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand (#324228) (XD) - $21.95  89+ pts  reviewed here
Concha y Toro Marqués de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2015 (89 pts)Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (89+ pts)

  • BACHELDER OREGON CHARDONNAY 2014 - Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA (#273334) (XD) - $24.95  90+ pts  reviewed here
  • CHARLES BAKER PICONE VINEYARD RIESLING 2014 - VQA Vinemount Ridge, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#241182) (M) - $35.20
  • HENRI DE VILLAMONT MONTAGNY 1ER CRU 2014 - AC, Burgundy, France (#522151) (XD) - $40.95  91 pts  reviewed here
  • ANTINORI CASTELLO DELLA SALA CERVARO DELLA SALA 2015 - IGT Umbria, Italy (#512376) (XD) - $59.95
  • GRGICH HILLS ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2013 - Napa Valley, California, USA (#346304) (XD) - $67.95  92 pts  reviewed here
  • KISTLER SONOMA MOUNTAIN CHARDONNAY 2015 - Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County, California, USA (#183921) (XD) - $107.95

Sparkling Wine:

  • DESIDERIUS PONGRÁCZ BRUT CAP CLASSIQUE SPARKLING CHARDONNAY/PINOT NOIR - Traditional method, WO Western Cape, South Africa (#404111) (XD) - $16.95
  • HENRY OF PELHAM CUVÉE CATHARINE CARTE BLANCHE ESTATE BLANC DE BLANC 2012 - Traditional method, VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada (#315200) (XD) - $44.95  91pts  reviewed here
  • DRAPPIER MILLÉSIME EXCEPTION CHAMPAGNE 2012 - AC, France (#513895) (XD) - $74.95
  • MOËT & CHANDON GRAND VINTAGE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE 2008 - AC, France (#069831) (XD) - $98.95


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